How do you beat living green itself? Apparently this idea from the Netherlands just did exactly that–by introducing the “SolarRoad” bike lanes that power street lights and even houses.
The pilot road of just a hundred meters consists of concrete modules each of 2.5 by 3.5 metres. Solar cells are fitted in one travelling direction underneath a tempered glass top layer which is approximately 1-cm thick.
There are no solar cells on the other side of the road and this is used to test various top layers. In time, the solar power from the road will be used for practical applications in street lighting, traffic systems, electric cars (which drive on the surface) and households.
For a three-year period, various measurements will be taken and tests performed to enable SolarRoad to undergo further development. The tests must answer questions such as: How does it behave in practice? How much energy does it produce? and What is it like to cycle over?
In the run-up to the surface being laid, the road was tested in the laboratory to ensure that it fulfills all (safety) requirements for road surfaces.
This story is still developing…!